Novartis AG's Sandoz unit lost its bid to begin selling generic versions of the Abbott Laboratories antibiotic Biaxin XL before a trial on a patent dispute over the medicine.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said there was no reason to overturn a lower court ruling that Abbott is likely to win a lawsuit in which it claims Sandoz infringed its patent. Biaxin XL, the extended-release version of the antibiotic, is taken once a day. The regular version, taken twice a day, already has generic competition.
Abbott, based in Libertyville Township, Illinois, said its patents on the drug protect Biaxin XL from generic competition until 2017.
Sandoz, the generic-drug unit of Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis, is the world's second-biggest generic-drug company behind Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
The case is Abbott Laboratories v. Sandoz Inc., 07-01300, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The lower court case is Abbott Laboratories v. Sandoz Inc., 05-05373, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).